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09 Aug 2021

Case Study on WMCRC Student Service – Individual Internet Investigation

West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre Stand: 3/C20
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We offer a range of affordable cyber security services designed to help businesses identify their vulnerabilities, asses current plans and policies and work with their teams to build their cyber awareness.

The WMCRC partners work with local academic institutions, such as Universities, to identify a pool of talented, reliable ethical hackers to deliver these services. 

What is the Individual Internet Investigation service?

This service provides a comprehensive review of an individual's on-line presence, associations and what personal or private information is available publicly. Social media, news posts, on-line forums and public records are all reviewed to create an individual’s internet profile and to understand any specific risks to, or threats from an individual. 

Recently, we worked with a client and our students to carry out an Individual Internet Investigation to determine any vulnerabilities and risks about our client online. 

Live Case Study: Business owners and executives can become a target for cyber criminals who can use information they find out about them online to target them with phishing attacks. 

The Managing Director of a West Midlands business used the WMCRC Individual Internet Investigation to find out what personal information was available online about them if someone wanted to go looking for it and piece it together. 

The client does not use social media in a personal capacity but does use some engagement channels for work purposes.

The WMCRC student team carried out an Individual Internet Investigation to determine if there were any vulnerabilities and risks about the client online.

Why is sharing personal information a risk to my business?

The Federation of Small Businesses reported that 20% of small firms say a cyber attack has been committed against their businesses recently. Victims are most frequently subject to phishing attempts, with 530,000 small firms suffering from such an attack over the past two years. 

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate organisation to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

Usually, the cyber criminal has obtained personally identifiable information and has used this to contact you. There are a number of steps you can take and mindsets you should get into that will keep you from becoming a phishing statistic, including:

  • Don't post personal data, like your birthday, or your address or phone number, publicly on social media
  • Always check the spelling of the URLs in email links before you click or enter sensitive information
  • Watch out for URL redirects, where you're subtly sent to a different website with an identical design
  • If you receive an email from a source you know but it seems suspicious, contact that source with a new email, rather than just hitting reply.

If you would like to find out more about our cyber security services and the associated costs, please contact the WMCRC team. 

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